Building Toward The Future

Three Yeshiva College Students Accepted in Master of Architecture Programs

This fall, three graduates of Yeshiva College‘s architecture program—Mordechai Friedman, Jordan Miodownik and Isaac Telio, all from Yeshiva College—will be enrolled in master in architecture programs. Friedman and Telio will be attending the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at City College of New York, while Miodownik will be heading off to the College of Environmental Design at University of California, Berkeley.

The architecture curriculum has been organized by Paul Glassman, adjunct instructor and adviser to the architecture minor, in collaboration with Daniel Beliavsky, department chair of fine arts and music.

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Mordechai Friedman

Friedman grew up in the Satmar Hasidic community of Montreal. After studying for three years at Beth Medrash Gevoah in Lakewood, New Jersey, he enrolled in Yeshiva College in 2013 to pursue his interests in Jewish history, science and languages. “While I loved all of my courses, it was in my art and architecture classes that I felt most alive… I am most fascinated by institutional architecture, especially libraries, mosques and synagogues, inspired both by modern design and historic modes.”

He added, “My experiences in my introductory architecture class convinced me that architecture is my ideal career.”

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Isaac Telio

Telio’s inspiration for his architectural designs also comes from the arts, as demonstrated by two of his projects in Glassman’s architectural design studio.  The first, a shelter for the users of the campus shuttle service, drew upon the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, who uses biomorphic forms in his work, and from dance. “I made an initial analysis of different movements and positions done often by dancers,” he explained. “The final inspiration was drawn from the third position in ballet and holding hands for the hanging roof.”

The second was a small-footprint low-cost two-floor cottage built for two people. Telio explained that the pitch lines and measure bars of the musical staff “were translated as windows, while the inclination of the open lid of a grand piano inspired the slanted roof of the house, necessary for water disposal.”

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A sketch from Jordan Miodownik’s “Unity Pavilion”

For his application to graduate school, Miodownik offered designs for a project he calls the “Unity Pavilion,” to be placed on the border between Israel and Gaza. “I was challenged to design a temple space for the modern era,” he explained. “In an effort to unite the oft-warring occupants of Israel, I designed a space that funneled in natural light and the sounds of the Mediterranean Sea so that temple-goers are allowed to ‘see’ and ‘hear’ God’s presence in their own minds.  Placing the temple in this context reminds us, if only for a brief moment, that we are all just human beings, looking to make our way in the world.”

His building designs feature multiple entrances and angles that provide places for people, wind and sun to blend in natural and unforced ways.

Glassman is very proud of their accomplishments: “All three worked very hard, not only in their architecture courses here but also in preparing their applications and portfolios, so that their talents could be visible to the admission committees.”